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Opinion

Craigslist offers more than simple items for purchase

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December 11, 2008

Whoever Craig is, he has invented what might be the most interesting list-based Web site on the Internets today: craigslist.com. I have not the tiniest photon of doubt that my venerated readers have visited or at least heard of this wacky web destination.

Craigslist is a Web site that follows the success story of eBay and adheres to the principles of supply-and-demand-nearly everything one could imagine is for sale on Craigslist; one can purchase everything from mint condition Paul Molitor rookie cards to a full directory of ass-cleaning tips (not kidding). That ageless axiom proves true: one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure.

I was perusing Craigslist in the interest of filling my empty time with a few chortles, and perhaps some shits and giggs. Some of the entries I came across were utterly stomach-churning. The depravity of some human beings puts me in the awkward position of second-guessing my own species; Craigslist seems to attract the vilest-or at least most bizarre-of us. The Web site’s section “The Best of Craigslist” is a democratically-nominated list of some of the most entertaining entries. After glancing over this list for a few minutes, I was given a new perspective as I witnessed the extent of my species’ uncouthness.

For instance, one self-described “career-focused, attractive, 120lb woman” submitted a Craigslist “personals” entry seeking a “sexual Tyrannosaur” to meet one of her more unusual needs. Her request: “You must be the animatronic dinosaur from Jurassic Park, and I must be the helpless child (Tim or Lex) stuck in the park at your mercy. You will growl mechanically into my ear and stare threateningly. I will feign panic and search for the flash light in the back seat of the visitor jeep. You will sniff at the window slowly and then release a robotic roar into the night air. I scream for Alan Grant, but your oversized robot jaws come crashing down, pinning me to the floor.” Sounds hot-at least it’s the first Jurassic Park she’s interested in and not the genital-gougingly bad sequels.

Another entry seeks a “photoshop whiz” for an unusual job. “I need original cell phone statements scanned and numbers changed then reprinted front and back! … There are 3 to 4 bills that need to be adjusted with numbers on pages, front and back. I am dealing with a jealous boyfriend that wants to see my statements ASAP.” This request sounds a little desperate to me. What do you think dear readers? Is honesty still the best policy when your mate is a jealous butthole? Probably.

One financially-strapped Craigslist user is offering his pet cockroach “Scoochie” – “I have to part with my pet roach as I am no longer able to afford to feed him with the way the economy is going. I have been with him since he was just a larvae. He loves sitting in your hand and watching Jerry Springer, and will sometimes crawl up your pants at night to keep warm.” This entry caught my eye because I am tragically allergic to both dogs and cats and have been looking for a more sterile pet for awhile. Truth be told, I never even considered a cockroach. And according to his owner, this cockroach Scoochie has even been de-wormed and is up-to-date on his shots. Well crap, I’d better update my Christmas List.

This last entry actually gives me hope that perhaps it’s possible to be a slovenly, careless drifter and still attract the ladies: “To the guy who drank from the can of Pepsi he found on the ground… I thought that was pretty gross at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I was charmed by it. I can tell you are uninhibited by social norms and I find that very sexy. It inspired me to fish a half-eaten doughnut out of a trash can on my way home from work. It tasted awful, but I felt so liberated.” What a refreshingly different love story! Why can’t this kind of thing happen more often? Watch out ladies-just wait and see how much garbage and half-eaten refuse I am willing to scarf for your attention.

Craigslist is truly an incredible place. I saw distasteful and weird entries looking for wingmen to “snag some tail,” “massage swaps,” a female participant in the construction of a “dope blanket fort” and even an entry seeking a lady Canadian to provide refuge-submitted by an American man claiming to know the first line to the Canadian National Anthem and promising to fake an interest in hockey in return for “political asylum-maybe more.”

I don’t know what to think about Craigslist. At the very least, it provides quite the unorthodox outlet for some bizarre creative writing. It seems also to reveal how desperate and crazy people really are-some of us have such bizarre needs that an anonymous online forum is apparently the only solution. I myself hopefully do not need ass-cleaning tips or a sexually-deviant lover promising to method-act the role of a robotic monster from the Cretaceous Period. But if I ever need political asylum or a cockroach, I now know where to look.

Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.